Stakeholders Commemorate the Tree of Life on Coconut Day 2nd
("The Cocommunity" - Monthly APCC Newsletter
Volume 44, Series No. 9, 1 September 2014)
will be the 16th Coconut Day this 2nd September since inauguration
in 1999. Many coconut communities around the world gather
to celebrate in many different ways in appreciation of the
‘Tree of Life’, to celebrate, commemorate and
create awareness on the importance of the coconut to the lives
of the countless millions of families living with and depending
on the coconut tree. Representatives of the nations of India,
Indonesia and Philippines were the foundational signatories
to the instruments that established APCC under the auspices
of UNESCAP in 1969, that day is declared and recognised internationally
as Coconut Day 2nd September.
Philippines and Vietnam organised a National Coconut Week
and for Philippines a 1st International Coconut Festival in
2014 between 27th and 31st August. India gathers each year
in different coconut regions with 2014 World Coconut Day to
be celebrated in Bangalore with the theme “Neera, the
future of coconut sector in India”. Each coconut community
around the world needs a product that would responsibly benefit
farmers who grow coconuts, such is the case in India today
with the Neera, a product that would regularly provide higher
level of income directly to the farmer and is not exposed
to price fluctuations of external market conditions. This
is a sure way forward in addressing poverty reduction and
sustaining livelihoods of marginalised families as summed
up in the words of Gandhi on 03/05/1939 on coconut nectar,
“.…..It is a way to solve the world's poverty.
It is also an antidote against misery.”
Value addition will assist farmers generate higher levels
of income in a more consistent manner over a longer term.
New initiatives are being explored in the Pacific states whilst
seeking technical assistance and technology transfer from
more advanced Asian coconut nations. The recent UNESCAP theme
of “Regional Connectivity for Shared Prosperity”
is very suitable to the present mode of collaboration and
partnership to be established amongst APCC member countries.
The fear of competition is removed and replaced with sharing
of knowledge and information that mutually benefits all parties
in the Asia and Pacific Region as well as those accessing
the network of APCC.
The positive evaluation remarks coming out of the 46th COCOTECH
Conference in Colombo this year reaffirm that there is much
encouragement and excitement developing about life under the
coconut tree and on coconut farms. The market for non-traditional
coconut products continues to expand in USA, Europe, China
and now in Japan. The world’s leading beverage corporations
are moving strategically in recent months to purchase large
stakes in and taking ownership of coconut water brands such
as Zico by Coca Cola, Vitacoco, Cocozia and names such as
Naked by Pepsico Brazil. One factory in Thailand visited by
APCC advised its monthly requirement for raw material is 10
million coconuts per month however it is not able to obtain
this supply locally therefore it is hoping to buy from the
western part of Indonesia a minimum of 5 million nuts per
month if they can so as to meet their existing market demands.
The future is brightening and promising for the coconut sector
as stakeholders unite in advancing technologies and increasing
knowledge base that ensures viability in all aspects of the
economy of coconut. Coconut growing communities are encouraged
to pursue an aggressive planting program for new coconuts
and rejuvenate old planting areas as demand for coconuts is
an increasing scale.
At the APCC Secretariat in Jakarta we farewell the current
Assistant Director as her term comes to an end and we wish
her every success as she returns to her role in the Department
of Agriculture in Thailand. We prepare to welcome her replacement
in the ensuing months.
We wish our communities of coconut farmers and their families
a successful Coconut Day 2014.